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Poverty charity boss outed for driving Maserati company car

DPA/The Local · 19 Feb 2010, 11:30

Published: 19 Feb 2010 11:30 GMT+01:00

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News of the luxury Quattroporte model – priced at €114,000 by the manufacturer – came to light when the German media reported on a court dispute involving the charity Treberhilfe over a speeding ticket.

The car was allegedly caught speeding by police radars in Müritzkreis, Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania last June. But because police could not tell whether the charity's director Harald Ehlert or one his chauffeurs was at the wheel, they demanded Treberhilfe keep a vehicle log. But Ehlert has refused and the case will be addressed in a Berlin court next week.

Treberhilfe’s sponsoring organisation, the Protestant church’s charity umbrella group Diakonisches Werk, has demanded consequences for what is sees as unseemly behaviour for a charity that is partially funded by donations and enjoys government support such as tax breaks.

But Ehlert this week defended his company car, explaining that he is also an investor in the organisation.

“We work unconventionally, but with absolute seriousness,” he said, adding that his car was a sign of how successful he had been at leading Treberhilfe, which has 28 locations and 250 employees in Berlin.

Story continues below…

Ehlert also explained that he paid a discounted price for the car when he bought it in 2007 – between €70,000 and €90,000.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:25 February 19, 2010 by twisted
So this is where charity donations go...expensive cars and chauffeurs....hummm, charity should start at home, and in this case, at Treberhilfe. Wonder what Mr. Ehlert gets paid?
15:27 February 19, 2010 by wenddiver
Sounds like they have eliminated poverty for somebody? And gave him a Masserati.
15:34 February 19, 2010 by berlinski
I have seen this sort of behaviour before from Charity organisations. I used to work in a Hotel and was barman at a Charity organisations Christmas dinner. These guys only drank the very best of wine by the bucket load and there was no expense spared on food and entertainment either. I wondered to myself how many peoples donations to charity it took to pay for that. I have never given a cent to this charity since, but I am sure that doesn't worry them.

OH, yeah, and their motto was "Give a little, it will help a lot". It sure did pay for a lot of nice wine.
16:24 February 19, 2010 by petrag
Trust is good, control is better!!!! Applies to public figures especially! Get rid of that moron.....
22:24 February 19, 2010 by Alex Coman
Best kind of charity I've ever heard. To put poor people, or people who must be poor according to their intellectual level, so high above their league so they can ride a Maserati...
01:17 February 21, 2010 by Fredfeldman
I was surprised some years ago to learn what a low percentage of the money given to even legitimate charities winds up actually reaching the intended recipients. It seems "administration costs" like the above mentioned Maserati company car are part of the hustle in the charities game.
07:53 February 22, 2010 by ColoSlim
Charitable organizations are rated by how efficient they are with their money. Please give generously, but conduct some research first and never give cash unless it is directly to the recipient.
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